Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Home Sport Rugby

Michael Cheika still wants more from Australia

Published 08/10/2016

Michael Cheika and Australia were victorious at Twickenham
Michael Cheika and Australia were victorious at Twickenham

Michael Cheika admits Australia will need more "edge" on their next visit to Twickenham, to face England in December.

The Wallabies boss hailed his side's dogged spirit in edging out Argentina 31-23 in the first-ever Rugby Championship match staged in the northern hemisphere on Saturday night.

Samu Kerevi's try brace and scores from Dean Mumm and Adam Coleman saw Australia home, despite yellow cards for Coleman and Michael Hooper.

The Wallabies will be back at Twickenham to face Eddie Jones' England on December 3 and Cheika admits his men must harden up before then.

"I just want to have a bit more edge around everything," said Cheika when asked what he wants to improve before returning to Twickenham.

"We need to start chasing what we want out of a game a little bit harder."

The Wallabies have now won just three games since the autumn's World Cup final, having suffered a three-nil home series whitewash to England in June.

"I though the three-nil series the way it worked out, I thought in two of those games we had a lot of ball and didn't get the rewards.

"The team's been changing so much, I probably didn't realise it would change as much as it has.

"A lot of our guys have really stood up to be counted and we're creating some competition, and that should bring a bit of edge with it."

Cheika's men stole second place in the final Rugby Championship reckoning courtesy of their win at Twickenham, but now face peerless world champions New Zealand on October 22 at Eden Park.

The All Blacks thrashed South Africa to seal their Rugby Championship crown and can now set an outright all-time record for consecutive Test victories if they see off Australia.

Cheika said he will give his players time to celebrate beating Argentina before working out how to stop New Zealand powering to that landmark 18th Test victory.

New Zealand have not lost at Auckland's Eden Park since 1994.

"I'll start thinking about that tomorrow," said Cheika.

"First of all, we've had a long run of games and we've got to let the boys enjoy this victory."

Replacement Wallabies scrum-half Nick Phipps was fortunate to escape a yellow card after shoving an Argentina physio to the ground on the pitch.

Cheika insisted referee Mathieu Raynal handled the incident well however, in opting merely to penalise the Wallabies half-back.

"I'm not quite sure to be honest what went down," said Cheika.

"No one was injured. So Nick's probably trying to get the ball.

"I really don't know what was going through anyone's mind.

"I think the referee dealt with it on the field, he dealt with it as best he could."

Argentina boss Daniel Hourcade believes his side's error-strewn performance blew the chance for two victories in a Rugby Championship campaign for the first time.

"We felt we could have won the game," said Hourcade.

"And when you feel like that, it hurts a bit more when you lose.

"But as I said in the beginning, we were not able to win the game because we made mistakes that stopped us scoring, and that also gave them too many points."

Pumas captain Agustin Creevy hailed the Twickenham support before insisting he could not determine whether Argentina would have won had the fixture been staged on home soil.

"I don't know what would have happened had we played in Argentina," said Creevy.

"Of course for us, playing in Argentina is the best option in terms of crowd support.

"But today we had a very good crowd, and at some moments we felt like locals because of the support."

Press Association

How to Complain

If you have a complaint about the editorial content of the Belfast Telegraph or Sunday Life then contact the Editor here. If you are not satisfied with the response provided then you can contact the Independent Press Standards Organisation here

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph